Top Headlines

Wall Street Banks Trampled All Over Their European Rivals in 2018 – Bloomberg

JP Morgan gained some of the biggest shares in both fixed income and equities trading last year, solidifying its leadership in one and nearing the top in the other. Deutsche Bank  lost ground in both markets while trying to restructure its business.

A Rising Tide Lifts All – Profit & Loss

If the numbers are anything to go by, 2018 was a good year for OTC FX platforms. Spot volumes increased across all the multi-dealer OTC FX platforms that report this data, something that has not happened once in the past five years.

US Futures Smash Volume Records in 2018 – Tabb Forum

US futures markets surged 17% in 2018, topping 4 billion contracts for the first time ever. Volume in the options-on-futures markets also grew at a double-digit rate, exceeded 1 billion contracts for the year.

Regulatory News

Banks Tempt London Staff to EU with Brexit Sweeteners – Financial News

Some of the City’s biggest lenders are working to shift thousands of employees to Europe before the UK officially exits the bloc.

Bank of England Likely to Help Economy after No-Deal Brexit: Carney – Reuters

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday he expected the British central bank would provide more support for the economy if it suffers the shock of a no-deal Brexit.

London’s Derivs Market Cannot Be Readily Replicated: Giancarlo – Global Investor (subscription)

CFTC chairman says London will remain a key global centre for derivatives trading and clearing for a long time.

FCA Says Mifid II Has Had ‘Positive’ Effects – Financial Times

Aim of the rule was to toughen investor protections and reduce conflicts of interest.

Crypto News

Deutsche Boerse Will Not Launch Crypto in 2019 – Global Investor (subscription)

The German exchange group says there isn’t sufficient regulatory or legal security at this point of time.

Ex-Goldman Sachs FX Executive Joins Blockchain Investment Firm – Finance Magnates

Marco Lim, who also had stints at FXCM, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, joins MaiCapital as a managing partner.

From the HODL to a Crypto Winter – Financial Times

From the Hodl and FUD to the XRP army – there’s no end to the crypto movement’s wit when it comes to generating uplifting investing mottos in handy GIF format for the internet. If the crypto faithful directed as much energy to real innovation, who knows where we might be as a civilisation by now.

The Nothingness Value of Cryptocurrencies – Financial Times

Cryptos may be based on nothingness, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’re worthless. In fact, the value they provide might depend upon them being linked to nothing, rather than something. This is a kind of security that crops up very rarely, like precious metals, or great works of art.

Cryptocurrency Assets Get Arab World’s First Regulatory Nod – Bloomberg

The Arab world’s smallest country is taking the lead in regulating crypto assets. Bahrain’s central bank said on Monday that it issued “the final rules on a range of activities relevant to crypto assets.” The framework covers areas from licensing and governance to cyber security.

The Blockchain Revolution in Capital-Raising is Not Quite There Yet – Financial News (subscription)

The impact of ‘security token offerings’ will be huge – but high costs will keep IPOs in the running.

Company News

FastMatch: Broadening its Horizons – Profit & Loss

In 2016 Fastmatch saw year-on-year average daily volumes (ADV) on its platform grow by 54%, and no doubt this growth was at least partially responsible for Euronext’s decision to spend $153 million to purchase 90% of the platform in August 2017, as it subsequently registered a 44% increase in ADV for that year.

Bank of America to Drop Merrill Lynch Name From Some Businesses – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Mother Merrill is fading away. Bank of America plans to remove the Merrill Lynch name from its trading and investment banking operations.

Conlan Joins FX Holding Company – Profit & Loss

Joe Conlan has joined Currency Mountain, a holding company that owns and operates companies within the financial services industry, as director of sales.

Kinsella Joins Union Bancaire Privee – Profit & Loss

Peter Kinsella has joined Union Bancaire Privee as managing director, global head of FX strategy.

Digital Reasoning, a Buzzy Fintech Valued at $270 Million and Backed by Goldman Sachs and Nasdaq, Has Lost its CEO and a Handful of Senior Executives – Business Insider (subscription)

The chief executive of Digital Reasoning, a fintech valued at hundreds of millions of dollars and backed by some of the biggest banks, resigned earlier this month.

Market Savvy

Pound Rallies as Likelihood of Brexit Delay Rises – Financial Times

Sterling reaches highest level against the euro in 21 months.

Dollar Near One-Week Lows Before Fed Testimony – Reuters

The dollar held near a one-week low against its rivals on Tuesday as currency markets waited for testimony from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that might give a further boost to risk appetite.

All the Ways China Influences Yuan, and How to Monitor Them – Bloomberg

The US’s proposed currency deal with China is casting the spotlight on Beijing’s control of the yuan. Ensuring China doesn’t depreciate its currency to soften the impact of US tariffs has become a sticking point in trade negotiations, with officials yet to agree on the issue of enforcementt.